Can you paint an antenna?

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KD9JTI, Aug 13, 2019.

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  1. KD9JTI

    KD9JTI Ham Member QRZ Page

    To avoid HOA entanglements, say your backyard has many mature trees, Can you spray your entire vertical antenna, mast,etc., flat black and mount it right next to a tree?
  2. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Depends on the paint & the antenna .
    But if you do not use something like a conductive paint , you could still probably measure some change with test gear , but would be hard pressed to see a performance difference .
  3. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    AC8UN and NH7RO like this.
  4. KE6EE

    KE6EE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just make sure your HOA doesn't outlaw black.
    WB5YUZ likes this.
  5. K7TRF

    K7TRF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    No problem painting an antenna with non conductive paint or automotive primer. Mounting the antenna right next to a tree is likely to have a bigger impact on both antenna tuning and antenna performance especially if you happen to be talking about a VHF or UHF antenna.
    NH7RO likes this.
  6. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can, but antennas against foliage would be less visible if sprayed a leafy pattern in 2-3 shades of green. It's easier to do than it sounds, too.

    1) Paint your entire antenna a flat camo light or dark shade of green or brown.

    2) Take some large twigs with leaves still attached and hold them against the antenna and spray sections in a contrasting shade (lighter or darker); this will create the leafy pattern that breaks things up visually.

    3) Rinse & repeat for the whole antenna and be amazed at how well it blends in with your trees once you step back and take a look.

    Rustoleum Camo Paint and a bit of ham ingenuity is your friend.

    For antennas against the sky, flat grey automotive primer is the #1 go-to choice.

    You can also use a combination of paint and camo fabric like I did for my shiny stainless steel Scorpion, too:
    IMG_9309QRZ.jpg IMG_9315QRZ.jpg


    The Antenna Guerilla:cool:

    PS: The little bottles of flat acrylic paint found in the arts and crafts aisle at Walmart are also good to use if painting with a brush (no fumes to worry about, either). The MATTE colors are the ones to use and they're good outdoors in UV and rain, etc. They can also be blended to match perfectly.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
    WB5YUZ and AC8UN like this.
  7. K7KBN

    K7KBN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Some flat black paint contains a good amount of powdered charcoal, which is quite a fair conductor. Don't paint insulators and things should work well.
  8. NH7RO

    NH7RO Ham Member QRZ Page

    The only time I'd ever paint it black would be if it was close to a black wall or structure. There are far better choices otherwise.
  9. KU3X

    KU3X Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an old Swan M-45 mobile antenna and it came painted right from the manufacture. I also had a Webster Band Spanner mobile antenna, again it
    came painted right out of the box. I made my own mobile antenna mast to be used with my hybrid coils and I painted the mast semi gloss black.

    Sure you can paint an antenna.

  10. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sure you can paint an antenna, but you may need a very large easel.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
    KE0TNL, KJ7BRR and NH7RO like this.

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